Graduation Honors

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Students in the Honors College, Academic Scholars, and students who graduate with honor or high honor are recognized in the commencement program.

The policy for granting graduation with honor as established by the University Council provides for honoring at each graduation approximately 20 percent of the students who have earned the highest grade-point averages. Approximately 6 percent receive the degree With High Honor and the following 14 percent receive the degree With Honor.

However, the specific minimum grade-point averages required are determined by the Office of the Provost following a review of the standards by the University Committee on Undergraduate Studies. The grade-point distributions of each year's graduates are used as a base for establishing new grade-point average standards to maintain the percentage of students to be honored at 18 to 20 percent.

In order to maintain the specified percentages, the GPA thresholds are adjusted following each Spring semester for the following calendar year.
The minimum grade-point averages required for graduation honors per semester are:

SemesterWith High Honor
(Top 6%)
With Honor (Top 7-20%)
Spring 20123.893.69
Summer 20123.893.69
Fall 20123.893.69
Spring 20133.903.71
Summer 20133.903.71
Fall 20133.903.71
Spring 20143.873.69
Summer 20143.873.69
Fall 20143.873.69
Spring 20153.893.69
Summer 20153.893.69
Fall 20153.893.69
Spring 20163.893.71
Summer 20163.893.71
Fall 20163.893.71
Spring 20173.893.71

Graduation with honor is based on the entire academic performance at Michigan State. However, recognition of graduation with honor in the commencement program is based on grade-point average of all work at MSU completed prior to the opening of the semester of graduation. Transfer students must earn a minimum of 50 semester credits at MSU to be eligible for graduation with honor or with high honor for recognition in the commencement program.

Graduation with honor or with high honor as well as Honors College or Academic Scholar is indicated on the student's permanent academic record and on the diploma. This information is made available to the press via University Relations and includes all applicable honors designations.

Students who achieve graduation honors in their final semester will receive that recognition on their permanent record. Likewise, students who fall below the honors threshold in their final semester will not receive honors recognition. However, commencement programs will not be re-printed.